The holidays are all about spending time with loved ones. Unfortunately, for many, the holidays become a time for over-eating and weight gain. Holiday eating, when not kept in check, can result in an extra pound or two every year and over a lifetime, those pounds can really add up. So what can you do to avoid this unwanted weight gain? Implement these few simple tips and you can stay healthy through the holiday season. The focus will be on balancing food, activity, and fun.
The holiday is not a time to try to lose weight. Instead just focus on maintaining your weight.
Keep with as many of your regular eating habits as possible to avoid getting side tracked by all the excess.
Relieve stress by exercising. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. Find an exercise program you can do at home with no equipment needed. 15-20 mins each day of moderate activity can keep your metabolism running high.
Be prepared. Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like raw vegetables to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to over-indulge. If you follow a strict meal plan or have food intolerances or allergies, take food with you.
Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Include lots of vegetables and lean proteins and try to avoid foods covered in high calorie sauces. I know its tempting, but your body will thank you.
Be focused while eating. Take your plate of food and find someplace to sit down. Focus on what you're eating and savour each bite. This mindful practice can prevent you from overeating.
Drink plenty of fresh water. Herbal teas are a great choice too. This will keep your appetite suppressed to avoid over-indulgence. Be careful with beverages such as alcohol and high calorie sweetened drinks. Calories that you drink can really add up fast.
Take the focus off food. Plan group activities with family and friends that aren’t all about food. Play games, go for a walk, make homemade ornaments, or go on a tour of decorated homes.
Re-vamp your holiday favorites. Prepare foods with lean protein, lots of vegetables and healthy fats like avocado, nuts and seeds, and coconut. Use stevia or xylitol in your holiday baking to cut excess refined sugars.
Enjoy the holidays, plan a time for activity, incorporate healthy recipes into your holiday meals, and don't restrict yourself from enjoying small amounts of your favorite holiday foods. In the long run, your mind and body will thank you.